Tulsa Police Grant Waiting U.S. Department Of Justice Approval
By Emory Bryan, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett's office and the Tulsa Police Union continue talks about getting officers back on the job. Last week, the mayor's office tried to redirect a federal grant into police salaries.
It only needs a signature, but in Washington, D.C., that can take a while.
The latest is a new proposal from the union - and a vacation hold on a federal grant that could have put 35 officers back to work this week.
"We believe this offer is fair and reasonable to the citizens of Tulsa as well as the police officers," said Laurel Ledbetter, Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police.
The Tulsa Police Officers Union says it has a new offer for City Hall - one that would rehire all of the laid off officers - yet meet the budget needs of the city.
"There's been some positive exchange on their ideas as well as the ideas and philosophies of the FOP, and we believe this is a compromise between what the offers want and what the city needs," Ledbetter said.
While the administration's most recent offer would have officers back on the job in the middle of March, the FOP says they're plan would get officers back on the job even sooner."
But the whole deal could be held up in Washington - because both City Hall and the FOP are including a couple of million dollars from a grant - that's just waiting on a signature.
"We have to get a sign off from an individual in Washington, and last week of course, the whole government was closed down because of the snowstorm so now we're waiting on this individual to come back," said Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett.
"He apparently took a week vacation, so we're going to have to wait until early March for him to come back and make a decision."
United States Representative John Sullivan says that's red tape he wants to cut through.
"I think that's unacceptable; that's Washington bureaucracy for you," said Rep. John Sullivan R - Tulsa.
"I'd like to see that guy answer them or somebody, soon."
The mayor's office has the counter offer from the FOP. They'll need some time to look it over, but for now there are no face to face meetings set to make the deal.